Thompson Park developer gets a five-year extension |

Thompson Park developer gets a five-year extension

John Colson
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE, Colorado – Developer Frieda Wallison has up to five years to start building homes in Thompson Park, a 45-unit project along Highway 133, under an informal agreement struck Tuesday with the Carbondale Trustees.

The trustees’ voted 7-0 to annex the 10-acre site, rezone the property and accept a community impact assessment report submitted by the developer.

Wallison expressed concern about being able to get the roads, utilities and other infrastructure installed any time soon.

“We can’t get financing,” Wallison told the trustees. At earlier meetings she estimated that installing the major utilities, paving the roads and other infrastructure work would cost about $880,000.

Without financing in place, she said, installing all the infrastructure within two years after the date of annexation is “simply an impossibility.”

She asked the town to recast the approval documents to allow her up to five years after annexation to do the infrastructure work. After considerable discussion, the trustees agreed to the extended deadline.

In return, the trustees won Wallison’s pledge to spread affordable housing units evenly throughout the project, rather than concentrating them in one or two locations.

Wallison also agreed to put in a useable gravel road from Highway 133 to the historic Thompson ranch house site, as well as a sewer line and a drinking fountain, tapping into an existing water line, for use by the public.

The annexation approval kick-starts the transfer of the historic house to city ownership, along with about an acre of land.

The house and property are to be turned into a museum, managed or perhaps owned by the Mount Sopris Historical Society.

In a last-moment flurry of negotiations with Trustee Frosty Merriott, just before the matter went to a vote, Wallison agreed to impose a 0.5 percent Real Estate Transfer Assessment (RETA) on first-round sales of the homes in the project, and a full 1 percent RETA on all subsequent sales.

The proceeds of the RETA are to be used for open space, transportation or affordable housing projects, at the trustees’ discretion.

Formal approval of the annexation, rezoning and extension agreements is expected on Jan. 10, the board’s first meeting of 2012.

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